As one of the most popular games in casinos both online and offline, you can find tons of strategies for craps. There are plenty of bets to be made at the craps table, but the real draw comes from the fact that this is a game with a low house edge. Not only that, the social nature of this game gives it a feel and atmosphere that other casino games, in our humble opinion, just can’t match.
What also helps push craps over the “edge”, if you pardon the pun, is the sheer level of the variety found in this game. The table layout might look a bit “out there”, but that’s all part of the fun. The reason for this is actually found in its betting options. The sheer number of bets you can place in craps online is crazy, the list just goes on and on and… and on. From long shorts to sure things, no matter your approach to risk, you can be sure that craps are a game that has a bet type and gameplay style to suit.
Helping you get better acquainted with this popular casino game, we’ve gathered some of the best craps tips out there, as well as put together a guide to the table for beginners, so you can start shooting dice like a pro.
Take Note of the Table Layout
When you look at the craps table for the first time, you need to understand that the layout is important, as every area represents a different bet. If you place your chips on the pass line, you’ll be setting up for a pass bet – or a multi-roll wager. However, if you place your chips inside the box that shows a 5 and a 6 together on dice, you’ll be making a wager for a one-roll bet on an 11 showing up. The position is important, as a wrongly positioned chip might just mean that you are betting on the opposite of what you think you are betting on.
Let’s go into this a little further and take a look at some of the most common bets placed. We’re going to break them down into single roll and multi-roll bets, this should make everything a little easier to understand.
How to Play Multi-Roll Bets
Multiple-roll bets, commonly referred to as multi-roll bets, are wagers that are settled after more than a single roll of the dice. The bet you make will stand until the number you are betting on has been rolled or a seven is hit. Multi-roll bets are the most common in craps, as they tend to tie you into the action for a short time.
Pass Bet (House Edge – 1.41%)
This is the bet that confuses a lot of players who are new to craps. Casinos don’t like to scare players away with rules that are too hard to understand or games that are too intimidating to play. Players and games are how casino operators make their money at the end of the day. So, learning this bet (and all the rest there is to know about craps) may seem daunting, but it’s not actually that difficult. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge, as in this particular casino game that can often go a long way.
Pass bets pay winners even money. The sequence of a pass line begins with what’s called a “come-out roll.” If you see a disc is placed on the table, you’ll know if a come-out roll is going to happen based on the “off” or “on” sides. For that reason, you should always keep an eye out for that disc, as it means that the action is on the way.
On the come-out roll, if the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11, pass bets all win. If the shooter rolls a 2, a 3, or a 12, pass bets all lose. However, if the shooter rolls any other number, that object of the game changes – the shooter must roll the number (now the point number) a second time before they roll a 7.
There are no other rolls that matter when it comes to deciding a pass bet. If the point number is a 6, and the next rolls are any other number except for a seven, the pass bet goes on. The only rolls to look out for are the point, or a 7. If the 7 is rolled before a point, the sequence is over, and bets lose. If the point is rolled and then a 7 is rolled, the bets win.
See, a pass bet isn’t that complicated to understand, right?
Come Bet (House Edge – 1.41%)
There is one difference between come bets and pass bets. A come bet is made when a point is determined for pass sequences. If a point has already been established, then you can place a come bet, and the next roll is your sequence starter.
Understanding that, if the comeout is a 6, that’s the point number of the pass sequence. Before the next roll in the game, you place a come bet. Your come bet wins if the shooter’s follow-up roll is a 7 or an 11, but your bet loses if the roll is a 2, a 3, or a 12. Any other number rolled, just like the pass bet, becomes your point number for your come bet.
The same 7 that win on your come bet could cause the pass bets to lose. The 2, 3, or 12 that gets rolled and causes your come bet to lose will have no effect on pass bets. Let’s say, for example, that 6 is the defined point on a sequence, and you follow with a come bet. If the following roll is a 7, you win on the come bet, but not the pass bet. If it’s an 11, you win on the come bet, and your pass bet is still in the game. If it’s a 2, a 3, or a 12, you lose the come bet, but your pass bet is unaffected.
Don’t Pass and Don’t Come Bets (House Edge – 1.36%)
If the names of these wagers don’t quite give it away, these bets can be called the opposites of the pass and come bets.
When making a don’t pass bet, you place the bet when the next roll is a comeout roll. A don’t come bet is placed when the next roll isn’t a comeout roll, or when the sequence has already started for a pass line.
Both bets win if the roll is a 2 or a 3, and then lose on a 7 or 11. Neither wins if the roll is 12, as the bet is a push – you can take your money back after a 12. If the roll happens to be any other number in the game, it becomes the point roll for your bet. However, this time, if a 7 is rolled before the point, the “don’t” bets win, and if the point is rolled before a 7, the “don’t” bets lose. This is what people mean when they say that the “don’t” bets are opposites to their counterparts.
Most players at the table prefer playing the pass side, as craps is a very social game and people like to play with the shooter. The camaraderie of the craps table is heavily based in winning or losing together. But these “dark side” bets have their followers too. Either way, you are going to have a following at the table, no matter whether you go with or against the shooter.
Free Odds/Lay Odds/True Odds (House Edge – 0%)
The name may change, but the crazy low house edge remains the same. True odds payout the winning bets, and they vary according to the point number in the sequences. It’s pretty rare to see an even money break at a casino game of any kind, but the odds in craps can offer it to you all the same. These odds are called “free odds,” but it’s not just a free bet you get to place and win – oh no – you still have to put a wager up, so there is still a risk.
In order to take the free odds offered, you first have to make a bet on pass or come. After the point number is established, you can then back your first pass or come with a second wager. The best part about free odds bets is that they’re paid at true odds. So, if the point-number is a 6 or an 8, a free odd bet that wins is going to be paid at the odds 6-5. For point numbers of 5 or 9, free odds are paid at 3-2, while a 4 or a 10 gets you paid at 3-1.
The odds here are based on the actual odds of those numbers being rolled. Craps uses two six-sided dice, meaning that there are 36 total possible outcomes of combos. Six of those outcomes total at 7, while there are 5 outcomes that can result in 6 or 8, four that can come out 5 or 9, and three outcomes for 4 or 10. So, at true odds, with six different combos that make a 7 and five combos that make a 6 means that the odds against rolling a 6 before you roll a 7 are 6-5 odds. You’ll notice this is the exact same odds that winners get on a payout. This is why free odds have no house edge.
There’s no house edge on the odds themselves, as we said, but the house does retain its edge on the original bet, or the pass or come bet, that you have to make in order to place a free odds bet.
In many casinos these days, you can find 3x, 4x, or 5x odds bets. This means that you can make an odds bet of 3x your original if the point is a 4 or a 10, 4x your original for a point of 5 or a 9, or a 5x odds bet if the point comes out a 6 or an 8. Payoffs can then be easy to calculate, as maximum odds means that total payoffs are the same for any number as a point. If you should bet $5 as a pass bet, then a 3x odds bet at $15, a point of 4 or 10 will pay 2-1 odds for $30. If you place $20 odds on 5 or 9, the payout is 3-2, so $30. If you place $25 as an odds bet on a 6 or an 8, your odds are going to pay 6-5, again $30.
Don’t pass and don’t come bets use what are called lay odds. If, for example, the point number is 6 in a sequence, the “don’t” wagers then have six possible ways to win and only five possible ways to lose. When a player lays the odds, they win $5 for every $6 that’s placed on 6 or 8, $2 for every $3 for a point of 5 or 9, and $1 for every $2 you place on a point of 4 or 10.
Phew, have you stuck with us? There is a lot behind this type of craps bet, so don’t be afraid to crunch the numbers.
Place Bets (House Edge – 1.52% on 6 or 8, 4% on 5 or 9, and 6.67% on 4 or 10)
The odds for payouts for winning place bets vary according to what you’re betting on. A 6 or an 8 can get you 7-6 odds, while 5 or 9 bets offer 7-5, and 4 or 10 have odds of 9-5. If you want to choose a number without having to wait for a point to be established on a comeout roll, then place bets are the way to go. When it comes to flexibility and variety, place bets are always going to be a solid option when rolling the dice in craps.
Buy Bets (House Edge – 4.76% or less)
For winning bets at true odds to be paid out, players have to pay a commission to the house of 5%. This commission can lower the house edge on some bets, but raise it on others. One thing to note is that some casinos only require this commission if you should actually win, which lowers the house edge even further. It can go as low as 1.52%.
The Field (House Edge – 2.78% or 5.56%)
Even money winnings are more common than not, but some casinos do reverse the rolls and odds. Reno pays 2-1 on 12 and 3-1 on 2, instead of 2-1 on 2 and 3-1 on 12. For 2-1, the house edge is 5.56%. 3-1 odds have a house edge of 2.78%.
Hardways (House Edge – 9.09% on 6 or 8 or 11.11% on 4 or 10)
When a number in craps is rolled “the hard way,” it means that the dice are both showing the same number. For example, a hard 6 would be 3 on both dice. In order to win this kind of bet, the number you wager on must appear before the 7 or your number in any formation.
Wait, there is more…
Okay, so the above are the bets you are going to hear most discussed at a craps table. The reason being that they have the most manageable house edges. Craps might be a lot of things, but boring certainly isn’t one of them. There are many bet types that go way before the norm, as long as you are willing to accept a much higher house edge. These bets are called one-roll bets. They might not be that advisable, but we are going to tell you about them anyway, just make sure you proceed with caution.
One-roll bets are individual wagers with payoffs that are common in most casinos. However, in some locations, such as Australia or the UK, you may find that the odds are different. If the payoff is higher, the house edge is lower. Just remember, the higher the odds, the tougher the challenge, you’ve been warned.
- 2 or 12 (House Edge – 13.89%) – 30-1 odds for winners, and the next roll must be the number you bet. Any other rolls lose.
- 3 or 11 (House Edge – 11.11%) – Winnings are at 15-1 payouts. The next roll must be the number you wager on, any other numbers lose.
- Any 7 (House Edge – 16.67%) – Payout for winners at 4-1.
- Any Craps (House Edge – 11.11%) – Payout is 7-1, and you get three numbers that can win on the next roll, 12, 2, or 3.
- Hard Hop (House Edge – 13.89%) – Hard hop bets are paid at 30-1.
- Easy Hop (House Edge – 11.11%) – Easy hop bets are paid at 15-1.
Hop Bet Note: Hop bets mean that you’re betting the die will land on one certain number. If you say “4-2 hopping,” then you only win if the dice come up with that specific combo. Hard hops mean the numbers are the same, like hardways. Numbers that are different are the easy hops.
Craps Gives You Many Ways to Bet
There is just something about craps. This casino game is not like others, as a roll of the dice throws up near-endless possibilities. The biggest challenge facing anyone when they play craps is simply understanding the bets at hand. Lucky for you, this guide is here and we haven’t stopped short in pushing you in the right direction.
Take notes, understand how the table works, and get ready, as it’s time to step up to craps and start rolling the dice!